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Clinton-era CIA chief James Woolsey just endorsed Donald Trump

The Trump campaign announced that Woolsey, who ran the CIA from 1993 to 1995, was joining as a senior adviser.

The last former CIA chief to speak out publicly on the 2016 election, Mike Morell, said that Donald Trump can't be trusted to lead the country.

His predecessor under President Bill Clinton, James Woolsey, disagrees.

The Trump campaign today announced that Woolsey, who ran the CIA from 1993 to 1995, was joining as a senior adviser. In a press release, Woolsey said that Hillary Clinton had "demonstrated a complete lack of understanding and an inability to lead.


"Based on the emails thus far released we know that Secretary Clinton also lacks the ability to lead her senior managers while complying with and maintaining the basic protocols designed to protect our government's sensitive and classified information," Woolsey said. "Mr. Trump understands the magnitude of the threats we face and is holding his cards close to the vest."

Woolsey describes himself as a conservative life-long Democrat in the mold of former Congressman Scoop Jackson and ex-Senator Joe Lieberman; extremely hawkish on foreign policy, mildly liberal on just about everything else. After leaving the CIA in 1995, Woolsey eventually ended up at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, an influential neoconservative think tank.

Though it might seem ironic to have one of Bill Clinton's Democratic appointees endorse his wife's Republican opponent, Woolsey and the Clinton White House weren't exactly close.

"When the little tiny plane crashed on the White House lawn [in 1994], the joke around town was that was Jim Woolsey trying to get an appointment to see Bill Clinton," ex-Clinton administration official David Gergen said in a 2000 interview.

In the past week, both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have unveiled long lists of former military officials backing their campaign. Shortly after Trump unveiled his list of 88 retired military figures endorsing his campaign, the Clinton camp hit back with its own list of 100 such individuals.

You can watch Woolsey explain his Trump endorsement on CNN below: